This tour shows you the best of Australia and New Zealand in 16 days; from the cities of Auckland and Sydney to the natural beauty of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and New Zealand’s Milford Sound. This itinerary can be shortened to match your vacation dates.
• International flights from Los Angeles and throughout
• Airport transfers throughout
• 1 night Auckland
• 2 nights Rotorua
• 3 nights Queenstown
• 3 nights Sydney
• 1 night Ayers Rock
• 3 nights Cairns
• Group sightseeing tours with driver/guide
• Meals: Daily Breakfasts, 4-Lunches & 2 Dinners
PRICES: From USD$6690 per person with Standard hotels. Based on double occupancy.
DEPARTURE 2017: Departs Daily
HOTELS: Choose from Standard, First Class & Deluxe properties. Please inquire about exact hotels.
LOWER COSTS: To lower your trip costs consider a self-drive in New Zealand. Driving is on the Left hand side. This option gives you flexibility to do more sightseeing and include more stops enroute from city to city.
CHANGES: Everything on this itinerary can be changed – sights & tour deleted or added.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY:
Day 1. Depart for New Zealand
Cross the international dateline and arrive on Day 3
Day 3. Arrive Auckland. (1 night)
Haere mai – Welcome to New Zealand. Transfer to your hotel. This afternoon you will have a sightseeing tour of Auckland. Journey over the Auckland Harbour Bridge for stunning views back to the city. Visit the Viaduct Harbour and Auckland’s famous Queen Street before continuing on through the Auckland Domain.After our visit to the Domain we continue on to Parnell Village for our morning tea stop. The historic buildings of Parnell have been transformed in to a trendy shopping area featuring many boutiques, antique, craft and specialty shops. Following this, our tour will then take you along the stunningly scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive to the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, in Mission Bay. (B)
Day 4. Auckland to Rotorua Tour via Waitomo Caves. (2 nights)
Travel to world famous Waitomo Caves before continuing to Rotorua, home to spouting geysers and boiling mud pools. Leaving Auckland in the morning we travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will provide a commentary as you travel to Waitomo and point out sites of interest On arrival in the small town of Waitomoenjoy a guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations. We finish the tour with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto – a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms. We continue our tour this afternoon by driving to Rotorua including passing through the beautiful Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery. (B)
Day 5. Rotorua sightseeing with evening traditional Hangi feast and Maori concert.
Your morning tour includes Rainbow Springs, Rainbow Farm Te Whakarewarewa thermal reserve and Te Puia Arts and Crafts Institute. Marvel at the natural wonders of Te Puia and explore its thermal valley of geysers, streams of boiling water and hot mud pools and get an insight into Maori culture through performance and traditional carving, weaving and art all created on site. The Agrodome is one of New Zealand’s most loved attractions and is a fun window into the farming culture with a sheep show, shearing and dog trials. Native flora and fauna is on display at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, including New Zealand’s national icon, the Kiwi, where a special Kiwi Encounter lets visitors see the nursery and hatchery for these endangered birds. Tonight enjoy a traditional Maori concert and Hangi (feast). (B, D)
Day 6. Rotorua to Queenstown. (3 nights)
The morning is at leisure before your flight to Queenstown. On arrival transfer to your selected accommodation. (B)
Day 7. Milford Sound Tour with cruise.
Travel by coach south into the Fiordland, through Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. Then board a cruise past mile-high Mitre Peak, along this 16 km long glacially-carved Fiord while visiting UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. This will be one of the most memorable experiences of your holiday. In the evening return to Queenstown. You can choose to return by scenic small plane instead (extra cost). (B, L)
Day 8. Queenstown at Leisure.
At leisure to enjoy New Zealand’s favorite holiday resort town. Optional tours include helicopter scenic flights, jetboating river trips, steamship lake cruises, Bungy jumping, white water rafting or Skyline Gondola rides. (B)
Day 9. Queenstown to Sydney. (3 nights)
Time at leisure until your flight to Sydney. G’day! Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day 10. Sydney city tour & Harbour luncheon cruise
Enjoy a magnificent buffet style lunch on the famous Sydney Harbour traveling aboard Captain Cook Cruises. After your leisurely cruise follow instructions of the Captain Cook staff to board our coach , check in time is 2.00 pm. Board your tour to discover the dynamic and diverse charms of Sydney. The afternoon half day Downtown Sydney, Bondi and Kings Cross Tour is a perfect option for those who have a tight schedule or those who don’t wish to be on tour for a full day. This tour is a thorough introduction to Sydney and its neighbors. Tour through the historic Rocks area and take in views of the Opera House, Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral, Parliament House and the Art Gallery. Stop at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Visit The Gap and enjoy stunning views. Stop at the world-famous Bondi Beach and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Join the coach for your return to Sydney, traveling through Paddington and the exclusive Eastern suburbs. (B, L)
Day 11. Sydney at Leisure.
Enjoy at day at leisure in this famous city. Optional: Day tour to the Blue Mountains with a stop at the Featherdale Wildlife Park or a trip to Hunter Valley, which is Sydney’s wine region. (B)
Day 12. Sydney to Ayers Rock. Ayers Rock Tour with Dinner (1 night)
Today you will fly to the famous Ayers Rock (Uluru). Today you will experience a tour which takes you to Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Travel to the mystical 36 domes of Kata Tjuta. Walk the trail through Walpa Gorge following the natural creek between two of the tallest domes of Kata Tjuta. In the late afternoon travel to the Uluru sunset viewing area. Witness and photograph the striking colour changes of Uluru at sunset while enjoying nibbles and a complimentary glass of wine. This tour also includes an Uluru BBQ Dinner. Travel to our exclusive venue to enjoy a barbecue dinner including steak, sausages, kangaroo meat, salads and bread with sparkling wine. There is time for stargazing too (weather permitting). D
As an alternative you can do a tour which travels only to the Kata Tjuta in the early afternoon and then experience the Sounds of Silence dinner, where you will witness the sun setting over Ayers Rock enjoying fine dinning. (B, D)
Day 13: Ayers Rock to Cairns. (3 nights)
Rise early to watch the first rays of the sun set the Red Centre and Uluru alight. As you travel towards Uluru, its vast shape rises from the sand dunes in the early dawn light highlighting its presence in this country. Your guide will take you to a special location to watch the sun rise over this amazing monolith. You will learn the Creation stories of Liru (poisonous snake) and Kuniya (python) and hear about the Mala people. After breakfast you will visit Mutijulu Waterhole and then drive around the base of the Uluru before returning to the resort. In the afternoon you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Cairns. (B)
Day 14. Great Barrier Reef snorkel cruise with Lunch.
Exploring the Great Barrier Reef with Ocean Spirit Cruises which will offer you one of the most memorable days of your life! Set sail aboard a luxurious catamaran and visit a natural and pristine sand cay, which is Michaelmas Cay on Michaelmas Reef! The Michaelmas Cay Cruise offers a wide range of activities including snorkeling, introductory scuba diving (no license required), semi-submersible coral viewing, guided coral cay tours not to mention being able to experience the majesty of a homeward sail back into Cairns at the end your day. Michaelmas Cay itself is a picturesque reef sand island surrounded by magical coral gardens teeming with an incredible diversity of marine life. Michaelmas Cay is a protected seabird sanctuary playing host to 27,000 migratory seabirds; one of the most important nesting sites in the Southern hemisphere, an absolute haven for any nature lover.
This is an excellent tour choice for those who love to be pampered, your day will include a trip to the reef aboard a luxurious and well appointed sailing vessel with wide open deck spaces, the opportunity to visit a natural and pristine location on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, a delicious Hot and Cold Buffet luncheon of freshly prepared local and exotic produce including seafood, snorkel tours with friendly and professional crew, guided Semi-Submersible tours with full commentary, as well as 4 hours free time enjoying and exploring the pristine sandy white and turquoise blue panorama of Michaelmas Cay on the Great Barrier Reef.
You will also have the option to participate in Diving should you choose. ($) Introductory Scuba diving is definitely more challenging than snorkelling, guaranteed, but it’s not so difficult that you cannot learn it. To enjoy the thrills of scuba diving on the Reef, you needn’t be a diving expert, a strong swimmer, a seasoned sportsman or even a person of high physical fitness. You just need to learn to use the diving gear and the basic skills of diving. The only requirements are that you are over 12 years of age and that you pass the on-board medical questionnaire and participate in a 30-minute briefing. Due to the shallow reef location, Introductory Diving is a nice, easy experience for those who have always wanted to ‘try’ diving!
The location is simply stunning and will suit nature lovers who prefer to visit a completely natural environment without the resorts, shops, bars, restaurants and of course, crowds, that other more ‘developed’ cays and islands along the coast tend to offer. At the end of a magical day, make your way home from the Great Barrier Reef to Cairns under sail! Arrive into Cairns at approximately 5.00pm in the afternoon. (B, L)
Day 15. Kuranda Village with Scenic Train & Skyrail Gondola
Take a day trip from Cairns to Kuranda on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and return via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Enjoy a tranquil ride as you soar above the rainforest canopy, with views from Cairns all the way to the Great Barrier Reef. Once in Kuranda you’ll spend free time in Kuranda Village, discovering the village and its many small shops. If you wish, you can upgrade tour with admission to the Rainforestation Nature Park, Hartley’s Crocodiles Adventure or Tjupakai Aboriginal Cultural Park (extra cost). (B)
Day 16. Depart for home.
You will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight home. You can extend your vacation with a visit to Darwin/Kakadu – Crocodile Dundee country or a stopover in Fiji. (B)